I want to start this blog off with a few disclaimers. This is in NO WAY meant to point fingers at anyone or make anyone feel bad. This is just my own personal opinion. If you do not like it, that is ok. Please read and understand the words in this blog. They are not meant to trigger or hurt anyone. Times are really tough right now. Fighting is not going to solve the problem. I am not going to summarize what is happening in the world right now.
I am born and raised in Edmonton. I am a first generation South Asian. I was raised to treat everyone equally. Don’t look at their color, how much money they have, what they possess in material terms. What matters is how they are inside. Growing up, that’s how I made my friends. We wouldn’t look at the color of our skin to know we were all a part of the human race. You could say I lived a sheltered life, not understanding what was happening around me. Sometimes, a child would call me a mean name in school. I never understood it. As I grew up, I would hear those mean names more and understand what they meant. I chose not to react. I figured, they would have to live a sad life to attack someone in that manner, who they don’t even know.
When I reached adulthood & opened the store, I figured I would not have to deal with it anymore. I was shocked that in the years we have been open, I have had a handful of comments in the store from customers. A very, very small number of customers, I should clarify. 1%. I rolled my eyes and dealt with it accordingly. I even had staff in other stores follow me, when I would walk through the store browsing. It hurt.
But, those instances in my life, cannot even come close to what is happening to a group of people in our human race. I never had to fear for my life, because of the color of my skin. I never had to worry about losing my parents for no reason, for the color of their skin. It has hit me deeper than I could imagine, as to what is currently happening in the world. The images, the videos. It can’t be real, can it? Can humans really hurt another human life this way?
I’ve gone back and forth about writing this. I am not sure how it will be received. I am not sure if it is the correct platform to say it. But, as I was taught. Speak out when you feel something is wrong. Something is wrong.
We are all part of one human race. We eat the same food, we use the same money, we breath the same air. Then, why is one community being targeted for the color of their skin? I know there is currently a social media campaign going out. That is fantastic. It brings the message out. But, like anything on social media, there will be another social issue to deal with, and this will be forgotten. We cannot let that happen.
How do we learn from this? What do we do now? We SUPPORT one another. We do not judge someone for not speaking out on social media. If you don’t want to speak out on a platform, that is fine. If you don’t want to donate, that is also fine. If you don’t feel like following someone who supports the cause, that is fine too. You do not need to be shamed into doing something you don’t want to do. We cannot move past this issue, until we LISTEN and stop judging one another. Going after one another on their “wokeness” (social justice awareness) level, takes away from the core of the issue.
We need to stop living in a bubble. We cannot move forward, until we have these difficult conversations. I know it’s very hard to accept. We all have been guilty of getting a little selfish sometimes. We forget that we are part of a global community.
Listen to one another. If you see someone hurting, ask them what you can do to help. Or, just ask how they are. It doesn’t have to be financial assistance. Sometimes, listening & understanding heals wounds. Educate yourself on what is happening. Listen to leaders. If you feel something is not right, speak out. Don’t scream. Have an active conversation.
There is no correct way to deal with this situation. I wish there was. But, being an active listener is a treasure. I have been seeing multiple posts online and hatred being spewed. That is drowning out the message of love and acceptance. We can’t do that. We cannot learn from that. I know a lot of you reading understand this. I know a lot of you reading this are trying your absolute best to make this world a better place. That gives me hope.
What also gives me hope, is seeing the positive coming out of this situation. Seeing some policemen walking with protestors. Seeing protestors dancing. Seeing people of different ethnicities united for a cause. They are there for pure love. They are listening. They are trying to do better for our next generation. That gives me so much hope.
What also gives me hope? The amount of diversity we have in our country. The amount of entrepreneurs of every race & gender. Being in the industry for 13 years, I am seeing a change. I am seeing the amount of faces and powerful people. It gives me joy. We have a LONG way to go. But, this is the stepping stone we need to get to where we should be. But, what makes us unique is our immense diversity.
We know all lives matter. But, a community is hurting right now. Those communities who are oppressed because of the color of their skin. They have been for years. We need to look after them and fix it, before we progress. It’s 2020. These shouldn’t be issues. We have so much going on this world that can hurt us. We don’t need to be attacking one another. I know I sound naïve in saying there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But, I think that’s what this world needs. Innocent hope.
We love you.
We hear you.
Stay safe. No matter who you are. Where you are.
We got you.